URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — The City of Urbana is looking to get a piece of its nearly $6 million hotel investment back, and it’s trying to make that happen through additional taxes.
The City Council voted to take the proposal to next week’s meeting. There isn’t a set date for the hotel to open, but they want to make sure they are ahead of it.
The opening date for the Hotel Royer has been up in the air since 2019 in Urbana. The delayed dates aren’t just affecting those hoping to make a booking. The pushed-back opening is also pushing back the city’s investment.
“The five and a half million dollars from the City of Urbana will not be paid to the developers until the hotel is open, and — this is very important — until they secure that Hilton Tapestry brand,” said Diane Marlin, Mayor of Urbana.
The agreement with Icon Hospitality said Urbana will pay an incentive for renovations once those requirements are met. As a way for Icon to pay it back to Urbana, a proposed four-percent boutique hotel tax will be applied to rooms rented at the hotel.
“There are no other hotels in Urbana that fit this category. So, this is a boutique hotel tax. It is a high-end hotel,” Marlin said. “In this case, it’s a historic hotel.”
This would be in addition to the already-existing regular hotel tax, the food and beverage tax, and increased property tax.
“We expect to repay that five and a half million dollars back over the next ten years,” Marlin said.
The development agreement calls for the hotel to open by Feb. 29 at the latest. Marlin said developers are aiming to have it opened by December. Either way, the tax will be put in place as soon as the hotel opens.